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Moshen

Chinese GPS app questions

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Moshen

Hi everyone,

I am planning a road trip in China for the fall. We'll be driving a rented car and navigating using a Chinese GPS app. I don't know right now which app - whichever one is most comparable to Google maps.

My question is this: So that I can get familiar with GPS directions terminology, would it make sense for me to download a Chinese GPS app and practice with it in the US? Is that even possible? That is, would a Chinese GPS app provide directions in the US? If so, which app would you recommend and where would I find it (for Android)?

Or, would it be the same if I practiced by changing the language on my Google maps app to Chinese? And is that even possible without making my phone do everything in Chinese?

I know the words for right, left, straight ahead, exit, kilometers, etc., but I assume there are other words used that I wouldn't be familiar with. For example, in Europe, in English, the GPS is always talking about "roundabouts," which are pretty rare where I live in the US.

One more question: Someone who was in China last year said Google maps worked for her in China. But from what I've read, that might have changed in the last year?

Thanks in advance for any tips.

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ChTTay

Baidu Maps is the best available that I’ve seen. 

 

Google maps doesn’t work in China. However, your friend might have used a US data package on their phone during the trip. If you’re using an international roaming package from your home country I’m fairly sure you can access things like google, Facebook etc. When my brother was here in 2014 that was the case for him. He could access everything when using his phones data. He purchased an unlimited roaming plan back in the US. However, if he connected to WiFi he was just on normal Chinese Internet (hence it was restricted).

 

As to your question, depends on your level of Chinese and how good you are at using context to understand things. I use Baidu maps to navigate sometimes and I don’t have any issues. If the Chinese isn’t clear there’s a graphic display with arrows on the road layout ahead.

 

You can just download Baidu and open it up. Get a feel for it. You will need to type locations in Chinese in a Baidu maps. Most places don’t have English listings. 

 

Otherwise ive used Maps.me above and it’s ok. Apple maps might be an option? 

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889

Even if you can access Google Maps through a foreign SIM, a VPN or saved downloads, it may not do you any good, since in my experience Google Maps seems to be offset about 500 meters in China.

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ChTTay
1 hour ago, 889 said:

Google Maps seems to be offset about 500 meters in China.

Just using Baidu maps is probably the easiest, most painless way. 

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AaronUK

apple maps is quite good in china 

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mungouk

+1 for Apple maps, if you have iOS

 

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Publius

It's either 百度地图 or 高德地图. Baidu is more user-friendly, lists more restaurants, movie theaters and the like. Gaode is more accurate, especially in real-time traffic data, therefore preferred by taxi drivers. Both can be downloaded from Google Play Store. But the GPS navigation doesn't work in the US.

 

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AaronUK

My city recently got a new subway line but the only map this features on is tencent maps, I don’t know why.

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